Are you frustrated because social media isn’t living up to its promise?
You did what the experts told you. You had a Facebook page created.
You hired a kid to post daily specials and cat pictures.
You even gave her a special place in the corner of the staff room to work from her laptop.
You got some likes, but they were mostly from your family and people who like cats.
The “experts” told you that Facebook was a great way to build your business; that it was a lot cheaper than advertising.
You know what? A pumpkin is cheaper than a Mercedes.
But unless you have a Fairy Godmother, ‘it ain’t gonna get you where you want to go!’.
If you want social media to work for you, you have to work at being social.
I’m rereading an outstanding SlideShare report: The Evolution of Social Business: Six Stages of Social Business Transformation.
The graphic illustrates the six stages of social business transformation.
Although designed for large corporations with multi units and departments, the underlying philosophy remains relevant to any size organization.
1. PLANNING - Listen & Learn – Understand how customers use social channels
2. PRESENCE - Stake your claim – Amplify marketing efforts, encourage sharing
3. ENGAGEMENT - Strengthen relationships – Drive call to actions and provide support
4. FORMALIZED - Organize for scale – Set up governance (social policies) and Business goals
5. STRATEGIC - Become a Social Business – Integrate into all operations
6. CONVERGED - Business is social – Social drives all aspects of business
“The two most important criteria for a successful social business strategy are that it is:
Clearly aligned with strategic business goals of an organization and
Has organizational alignment and support that enables execution of that strategy”
In the section: The Challenges of Social Business Strategy, the authors state that in spite of the fact that Social Strategists have championed the adoption of social media for business purposes for nearly eight years, it still operates in a vacuum…
“…focused on bottom-up functional roles rather than guided by a top-down business vision…They are often guided by a peer- or competitive-driven “social for social’s sake” philosophy.”
How often have we heard someone say they wanted to be on social media because: “…all my competitors are on Facebook.”?
Developing a social culture, if one doesn’t already exist, involves major change and human resource management.
It’s doable as long as we understand it’s an ongoing project that’s integral to how we do business.
Small businesses have limited resources.
Profit margins a small, staffing is a chronic problem and as owner/manager, your hand is fully immersed in every pot.
It’s tempting to go for the “free” marketing solution.
- But take a step back.
- Educate yourself on what exactly social media is and what it can and cannot do.
- Find a consultant that can help you decide which platforms and strategies you need to move your business forward.
My passion for social media was ignited by the power it has to change how we do business, not by how we do advertising.
About Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz is a Google Plus Specialist and Social Media Strategist helping small businesses establish their brands and build their communities on the social web. A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social". Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.